Home LATEST NEWS Malians demonstrate massively against West African sanctions

Malians demonstrate massively against West African sanctions

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Today, the whole world sees where the popular legitimacy lies, declaimed the transitional Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga in front of thousands of Malians decked out in the national colors of green, yellow and red, and massed in the capital on Independence Square.

All of Africa is looking at Mali today, to some extent Africa’s destiny is being played out in Mali today, declaimed in a harangue with strong accents of patriotism, resistance and pan-Africanism this veteran of politics enthroned by the military at the head of a so-called transitional government.

Choguel Kokalla Maïga, who had swapped his usual boubou for the uniform for the occasion, spoke of the history of resistance to colonizer French to say that it is the children, sons and great-grandsons of these men who are at the head of the state today.

God and the people are with the transitional government […] All those who are going to put themselves against this transition, God will not help them, God will block their way. »

A quote from Choguel Kokalla Maïga, transitional prime minister in Mali

During an afternoon orchestrated by the junta and its supporters, participants – official and anonymous – heard various speakers slam the organization of West African states. Economic Community of West African States, to exalt Malian sovereignty, to give the army a standing ovation or to demand the disengagement of France.

The name of President Vladimir Putin was chanted to express the wish, nourished by part of the population, for Russian intervention.

The head of government thanked Russia and China for opposing on Tuesday the adoption in the Security Council of a text supporting the sanctions of the Economic Community of West African States against Mali.

France’s fault

Long live Assimi (Goïta), long live Choguel (Maïga), enthused Abdoulaye Yanoga, an unemployed 27-year-old, speaking in the ambient din of the heads of the junta and the government. [les organisations ouest-africaines] ECOWAS and WAEMU, but these sanctions will not pass here”,”text”:”We support them and we understand that it is France that is behind [les organisations ouest-africaines] ECOWAS and UEMOA, but these sanctions will not pass here”}}”>We support them and we understand that France is behind [les organisations ouest-africaines] Economic Community of West African States and West African Economic and Monetary Union, but these sanctions will not pass here.

Those who doubted that the transition [les autorités] is supported by the Malian people have their answer, rejoiced Nouhoum Sarr, member of what acts as a legislative body.

Big crowds also in Timbuktu, on Sankoré Square, in front of the mosque, several Timbuktians told AFP.

Footage posted on social media showed a dense crowd marching and chanting behind the national flag in the streets of Kadiolo, bordering Côte d’Ivoire. Similar scene in Bougouni, also in the south.

Colonel Goïta calls for mobilization

The Malian government launched on Monday, the day after the retaliatory measures extremes according to him taken by the Economic Community of West African States, a call to a general mobilization throughout the national territory.

Colonel Assimi Goïta, brought to the head of Mali by a first coup in August 2020 and enthroned president transition following a second in May 2021, urged Malians to defend [leur] country.

Mali, already plunged into a serious security and political crisis since the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in 2012, has been facing heavy sanctions since Sunday. Economic Community of West African States.

Colonel Goïta is seated at a table.

Colonel Assimi Goïta was invested last May as transitional president of Mali.

Photo: Reuters/Francis Kokoroko

These punish the military’s plan to continue to govern for several years, and the revoked commitment to organize elections in February 2022 that would have brought civilians back to the head of the country.

The closing of the borders of the Economic Community of West African States, the embargo on trade (except basic necessities) and on financial transactions as well as the freezing of Malian assets in West African banks pose a dangerous threat to the economy of one of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked and tested by violence and the pandemic.

West African companies as well as Air France have suspended their flights to Bamako. The country risks suffocation for lack of liquidity. Mali was unable to complete an operation on the regional financial market on Wednesday. He is cut off from the rest of the world, says Kako Nubukpo, commissioner for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Concert of reprobations

The sanctions have aroused a chorus of disapproval in Mali. The Economic Community of West African States is accused of being an outdated club of leaders cut off from the populations and the instrument of foreign countries, including France, the former colonial power engaged militarily in the Sahel.

Malians rallied in numbers on Friday behind the slogan of defense of national interests, without wanting to burn all bridges with the Economic Community of West African Statesor the international community, or even unconditionally support the junta.

: a war against the world is lost in advance.”,”text”:”I came to support my country in the face of the danger that awaits us, declared in the crowd in Bamako Alassane Kanouté, professor, but let’s be reasonable: a war against the world is lost in advance.”}}”>I came to support my country in the face of the danger that awaits us, declared in the crowd in Bamako Alassane Kanouté, professor, but let’s be reasonable: a war against the world is lost in advance.

One response plan

Colonel Goïta, validated on Friday a response plan government to West African sanctions, his services said on Facebook. The plan has several components, diplomatic or economic, they say without further details.

The objective of this plan is not to be in an arm wrestling posture with West African organizations, and Mali remains open to dialogue, they say.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday demanded from the Malian government an electoral calendar acceptable, recalling that the Economic Community of West African Statescould then gradually lift the sanctions.

Mali’s partners as important as France and the United States have lent their support to West African sanctions. The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell indicated on Thursday that the European Union would take steps in the same line that the Economic Community of West African States.

France and the Europeans, engaged militarily against the jihadists, want to stay in Mali, but will not not at any price, said the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian.

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